Carbohydrates could be key to improved malaria vaccine

Carbohydrates could be key to improved malaria vaccine

Offering vital clues to improving malaria vaccine, an international research team has shown that carbohydrates on the surface of malaria parasites play a critical role in their ability to infect mosquito and human hosts.

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According to a study:

  • The discovery also suggests steps that may improve the only malaria vaccine approved.
  • To protect people against Plasmodium falciparum malaria -- the most deadly form of the disease.
  • The team had shown that the malaria parasite "tags" its proteins with carbohydrates in order to stabilise.
  • And transport them and that this process was crucial to completing the parasite's life cycle.
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According to researchers:

  • Interfering with the parasite's ability to attach these carbohydrates.
  • To its proteins hinders liver infection and transmission to the mosquito
  • And weakens the parasite to the point that it cannot survive in the host," said Researchers.
  • Malaria infects over 200 million people worldwide each year and kills around 650,000 people.
  • In addition,predominantly pregnant women and children.
  • Efforts to eradicate malaria require the development of new therapeutics, particularly an effective malaria vaccine.
  • The first malaria vaccine approved for human use -RTS,S/AS01 -got the nod of the European regulators in July 2015.
  • But has not as successful as hoped with marginal efficacy that wanes over time.
  • The new research is aimed at improving malaria vaccine design.
  • With this study, we've shown that the parasite protein is tagged with carbohydrates.
  • Furthermore,making it slightly different to the vaccine, so the antibodies produced may not be optimal for recognising target parasites.
Read also:Navratri 2017: Healthy and tasty options for youAdding that there were many document cases where attaching carbohydrates to a protein improved its efficacy as a vaccine.

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